Saturday, July 11, 2009

French to English Legalese, Part 3


This is our final instalment on legalese.

legal Yes, we realize that legal lexicon is expansive and we could easily create a blog exclusively for legal terminology, but that would take the fun out of our vocabulary-building efforts for numerous other domains of activity.  We're just starting! 

We have yet to cover IT, Psychology and other social sciences, cyberspeak, marketing, the film industry - the entire gamut of professions and trades that have built their own reservoir of words and phrases.

We promised earlier that part 3 would not mean an end to a series.  When we did flowers, health conditions, and baby items, we said we'd go back to them and continue from where we left off.  So, we intend to tackle more legalese in the future.  For those of you who want more legal terms in French and English, stay tuned!

Let's finish this thread.



exception de litispendance (lis alibi pendens) plea of suit pending elsewhere
juridiction d'exception jurisdiction of an exceptional court
acte en forme exécutoire instrument ready for enforcement
jugement exécutoire enforceable judgment
à la condition expresse que... on the distinct understanding that...
faute délictuelle transgression committed with the intention to harm someone
certificat fiduciaire trustee's certificate
le bien-fondé d'une demande the merits of a case
en foi de quoi in witness whereof
garantie étendue comprehensive guarantee
grève patronale lock-out, turn-out
droits de greffe registry dues
hypothèque en premier rang first mortgage
incommutabilité de la possession absolute ownership
inadmissible inadmissible; out of the question

How about some legal humor?  Here are two from

(1)  A defendant was asked if he wanted a bench trial or a jury trial. "Jury trial," the defendant replied. "Do you understand the difference?" asked the judge. "Sure," replied the defendant, "That's where twelve ignorant people decide my fate instead of one."

(2)  An attorney ran over to the office of his client. "I can't believe it!" said the angered attorney, "You sent a case of Dom Perignon to the judge in your case? That judge is as straight as an arrow. Now we're certain to lose this case!" "Relax," said the client, "I sent it in the prosecutor's name."


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